Minister of Sports Solomon Dalung has threatened to sanction national U-23 team coach Samson Siasia over his comments about the poor condition of his squad at their training base in Atlanta, United States.
Siasia slammed sports authorities in the country saying that he was owed salary just as his players were suffering from lack of care ahead of the Olympic Games.
The remarks did not go down well with Dalung who has now threatened to sanction the erring coach.
In a press statement released by the minister’s media aide, Nneka Anibeze, on Monday, Dalung said at the team’s training ground in Atlanta that although he was unhappy about the condition of the players and officials ahead of the games, the coach erred by going to the media to register his grievance.
He said the ministry was not considered when plans were made for the U-23 team and should not be blamed for what happened to the squad during the tour.
“There is no doubt that the ministry was not considered while plans were being made for the Olympic football team.
Nevertheless, we shall intervene to remedy the situation. I have appealed to the captain to assume control of the team and restore sanity.
“ For officials who decided to violate the code of their profession and take to media rampage to secure cheap blackmail, their conduct will definitely be measured with existing rules. We have decided to restore sanity and discipline in Team Nigeria.
We shall stop at nothing to sanction any conduct that is not within the code of Rio operations. All federations are hereby directed to stick to the rules” Dalung said.
He said arrangements had been concluded to airlift the team to Manaus, Brazil venue of their first game in a chartered plane today.
(Tuesday) Barrister Dalung said clearance had also been obtained from the International Olympic Committee in Rio to facilitate smooth flight operations.
The U-23 team will play Japan on Aug 4. They are in Group B also with Columbia and Sweden.